The spatial dynamics of discourse in global protest movements
Large-scale protest movements have recently transformed urban common spaces into sites of resistance. The Arab Spring, the European Summer, the American Fall in 2011, the revolts in India and South Africa and, more recently, in Istanbul, in several cities in Brazil, and in Hong Kong, are part of a common wave of protests which reclaims squares and urban places, monumentally designed as political and economic centres, as places for discussion and decision-making, for increasing participation and intervention in the governance of the community. Through banners and signs, open assemblies, and other communicative practices in the encampments and interconnecting physical and virtual spaces, participants permanently reconfigure their lived spaces discursively. The attempt to account for on-going social phenomena from the moment they first happen, and with an international perspective, undoubtedly represents a theoretical and methodological challenge. This book is a successful and innovative attempt to address this challenge, capturing the complex interplay between social, spatial, and communicative practices, drawing on complementary and alternative methods. Originally published in Journal of Language and Politics issue 13:4 (2014).